A Heart Bent Out of Shape by Emylia Hall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
'For Hadley Dunn, life so far has been uneventful - no great loves, no searing losses. But that's before she decides to spend a year studying in the glittering Swiss city of Lausanne, a place that feels alive with promise. Here Hadley meets Kristina, a beautiful but elusive Danish girl, and the two quickly form the strongest of bonds. Yet one November night, as the first snows of winter arrive, tragedy strikes.
Hadley, left reeling and guilt-stricken, beings to lean on the only other person to whom she feels close, her American Literature professor Joel Wilson. But as the pair try to uncover the truth of what happened that night, their tentative friendship heads into forbidden territory. And before long a line is irrevocably crossed, everything changes, and two already complicated lives take an even more dangerous course...'
I had never read any books by Emylia Hall, but when I was sent this to review from the publishers I thought it sounded a great read.
Hadley Dunn is at University in England and gets the opportunity to study abroad in a small town in Switzerland. Hadley is still living at home and figures this maybe her opportunity to ‘flee the nest’ and gain some freedom that she has been longing for. When she arrives she meets the others living in her halls, who also are from various parts of the world. Kristina arrives late one night from Denmark but quickly develops a good friendship with Hadley. From the first few days they are inseparable and do everything together. One night something horrible happens and Hadley turns to her professor for support and guidance.
Emylia Hall is very descriptive in her writing and you can almost feel the coldness of the air and taste the snowflakes that have been falling. She leaves you with a very clear image of the place and the people that Hadley meets. This is a story that is beautifully written, you develop feelings for the characters and you feel like you are part of the story on the journey they are taking.
I found that it took a long time for the story to get going, I also felt that from reading the blurb the story was going to be on the mystery and to solve it. The story did cover this; however I felt that, that was not the main story. But without the mystery to solve the book would not have taken this course.
I also feel that this book would be more suited to a younger audience, those who are experiencing similar things to Hadley, in respect of leaving home and coming of age. I can see many college and university girls deeply enjoying this book.
I found that the story was more enjoyable than I had originally thought and I did love that the book was not predictable, at times when I thought I could see what was coming I was wrong. This bought an element of excitement into the story. I had just wished it come a little earlier.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this review copy.